Teachers to Pelosi: Say no to 'No Child Left Behind'

Leaders of the California Teachers Association brought a giant postcard signed by nearly 1,000 teachers to San Francisco today to urge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to withdraw her support of a proposed reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The union leaders displayed an 8-foot by 12-foot postcard outside the Federal Building and then took a smaller copy to the office of Pelosi, D-San Francisco, who was not in the office this morning.

The CTA claims the proposed reauthorization's emphasis on standardized tests to evaluate schools isn't the best way to help students and will make it harder for California to attract teachers.

Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez, one of the sponsors of the proposed reauthorization of the 2001 law, has said the planned changes are aimed at improving it by adding more fairness and flexibility in evaluation while still holding schools accountable.

A spokesman for Pelosi was not immediately available for comment.

Eric Heins, a fourth grade teacher at Willow Cove Elementary School in Pittsburg and CTA board member, said, “The excessive testing haspractically eliminated other important programs like art, music, foreign language and physical education.”

CTA Vice President Dean Vogel said, “The Miller-Pelosi NCLB reauthorization plan will make it harder to attract and retain quality teachers in California classrooms.”

Vogel said, “Test scores don't fairly measure student achievement and cannot be used to accurately evaluate and pay teachers.”

The union represents about 340,000 California public school teachers, counselors, librarians and other school staff members.

— Bay City News

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